HAWK signal installation work continues at Fisher Ave and Snoqualmie Parkway after engineer strike causes delays

After years of discussions, a HAWK signal, which is a pedestrian-activated flashing beacon, is currently under construction at the intersection of Snoqualmie Parkway and Fisher Ave SE.

According to a city press release, the HAWK light is being installed  to increase safety for pedestrians crossing Snoqualmie Parkway from both sides of Fisher Ave SE.

The project is being funded by a $175,000 Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) grant and $200,000 of developer traffic mitigation money awarded to the city over a decade ago. Construction began in early August and then came to a halt until today when crews began work again.

Via press release the city stated that a recent regional strike by International Union of Operating Engineers (Local 302) crane operators and members created the initial delay in foundation work, but the overall construction schedule has not been impacted.

The strike – which also impacted workers at the MSHS rebuild project – has ended, which means project work at the Fisher Ave and Snoqualmie Parkway intersection is back in full swing.

The city said during the week of September 17th grading and forming for concrete will begin and then concrete will be poured for all ramps and sidewalk sections and curb ramps.

Assuming there are no significant delays, the city said the equipment and cones will be removed by Thursday, September 20th.

After this week’s work, construction will be on hiatus until  mid-January 2019 due to the long lead time for the signal poles to arrive. Once the poles are delivered, there may be intermittent road delays for approximately two weeks during installation and striping.

The entire project is expected to be complete by the end of January 2019.

In previous city council meetings, it was stated that when the new signal is installed, the city will also add signage to Snoqualmie Parkway to warn drivers of the new signal and will also conduct a HAWK education campaign for drivers and pedestrians.

A HAWK light is also being planned for intersection of River Street and SR 202 in downtown Snoqualmie.

Residents of the Woody Creek and Ironwood neighborhoods have continued to push on city officials to install a full stoplight at Fisher and Snoqualmie Parkway, but the city has repeatedly stated the intersection doesn’t meet the warrants required for a full stoplight; a stoplight does not qualify for grants; and the $200,000 in developer mitigation funds isn’t enough for a stoplight.

City officials have previously stated they do eventually foresee a stoplight at the intersection, stating that when the Urban Growth area of Sno Hills West is eventually developed, traffic on Fisher would increase enough to meet the warrants – and most likely a future developer would foot the bill.

2017 City Council candidate Monica Lowney spoke at a recent city council and referenced a citizen-funded traffic study that showed the intersection was had met a warrant and was much closer to meeting other required warrants than the city’s 2015 study – and implored the council to install a full stoplight.

According to Mayor Larson, there are no plans to alter course from the HAWK light. He said a few months ago city engineers challenged several of the methods used by the engineer who performed the citizen study and the study’s conclusions.

More information about project visit the HAWK signal project page.

 

Comments

  1. Lesley Sheppard says

    Did you read the 6/25/2018 traffic report? Warrant 6 is satisfied, and Warrant 1 should be satisfied in the next year based on the City’s own growth projections. The report conclusion calls for “consideration of a full traffic signal.” Per State law, warrants do NOT need to be met for traffic light installation, rather it is up to the discretion of the City. The City made it clear long ago that it did not want to pay for a full light, even after declaring it was necessary.

  2. According to this blog, Mayor Larson states several city engineers challenged the citizen funded traffic study, yet Mayor Larson refuses to share these finding with myself (Monica Lowney), or the certified traffic engineer I hired to perform the citizen study. His name is Gary Norris with DN Traffic and has volunteered many hours of his time providing an education to the city on the dangers of a HAWK yet the city chooses to discredit his advice with no justification. Thank you Gary for your dedication and concern, your efforts are much appreciated by citizens.

    Both Gary Norris and I spoke at the August 13th city council meeting and explained why the sole HAWK crosswalk is a danger to citizens and a four-way signal with four crosswalks is justified under Warrant 6 over a year ago and very probable Warrant 1 currently.

    At a February 12th 2018 city council meeting several citizens, Gary and I spoke out about our concerns. This video is also available to view on youtube under City of Snoqualmie Council meetings. The attempt to silence and censor citizens is mind blowing.
    I encourage citizens to watch our comments via video at the February 12th 2018 meeting (fast forward to section 200.00) and the most recent August 13th 2018 (scroll to 31.26) council meeting on youtube which explains the report. Gary Norris with DN Traffic has 45 years of experience as a certified traffic engineer working for multiple cities in WA and private industry. Gary has excellent credentials which he explains in the August 13th youtube video. Other engineers have expressed safety concerns to the city as well over the years, yet their professional advice was ignored and demeaned by our Mayor and city staff.

    My understanding is the city does not employ a certified traffic engineer so how can they critic Gary’s findings as Mayor Larson claims? After numerous requests for justification, the city refuses to respond to our recent citizen funded study, they have denied our requests for a new city funded study, nor will they state why they believe the citizen funded study is not relevant. Citizens have been requesting the city conduct an updated traffic survey of their own prior to installing the HAWK, yet Mayor Larson in particular refuses to do so and insists we rely on outdated traffic data from 2015 with no future growth projections included.
    Unfortunately, with two school bus stops and two county transit bus stops at this intersection it is only a matter of time an accident will occur. The Fisher Creek Park is also very heavily visited by cars, bikes and on foot. The HAWK crosswalks are generally placed in 20 to 25 mph school zones on level ground with great visibility.
    This crosswalk is being placed on a downward slope, with poor visibility and speeds on average of 50 mph, heavy truck traffic with 6 lanes in a four way intersection. The HAWK crosswalk does not meet MUTCD traffic warrants to be placed at this location, yet the city insists on installing one anyway. On the other hand the recent citizen funded study did in fact meet Warrant 6 of MUTCD guidelines for a four way traffic signal to be installed at this intersection, yet the city refuses to acknowledge this report as relevant. Why?

    Children do not understand that loaded trucks traveling 50 mph on a downward grade cannot stop easily. There is also no signage available to drivers on either side of Fisher Ave. that will result in confusion in the intersection resulting in accidents. A HAWK Crosswalk will create a false sense of security for pedestrians and children and is not deemed safe at this location.

    Hundreds of residents have been begging the city for a four way traffic signal, like every other four way intersection on the Snoqualmie Parkway for many years. Citizens circulated a petition with hundreds of signatures, sent in numerous emails, made phone calls and spoke at numerous council meeting over the years. All of this occurred under Mayor Matt Larson’s reign, only to be nullified and ignored, except during election time of course. This includes sitting council members that appeared to be concerned, promising a signal, only to vote against citizens after the election. This does not include Council Member Peggy Shepherd who has been amazing.

    Another issue is the city is using old traffic data from 2015 and refuses to account for recent growth like our new shopping center, hotel and additional housing growth in the past three years. The city is pushing forward on the Salish expansion and the Mill site expansion which will bring thousands of more cars and trucks to our Snoqualmie Parkway. Yet these future traffic projections are ignored by the Mayor and staff as well. They simply refuse to acknowledge recent and future growth projections at this intersection and other intersections. If you think traffic is bad now, just wait. Many have told me they believe the Mayors ego is taking precedence over citizen safety regarding this issue. Unfortunately, it appears the lack of desire to protect innocent children and citizens will take the back seat to city politics.

    Ultimately, it is every tax paying citizen in Snoqualmie that will foot the bill for potential litigation if innocent individuals are seriously injured at this intersection due to the cities refusal to protect it’s citizens. This is well documented. The only city council member that has researched the HAWK crosswalk and advocated for a four way traffic signal based on data and facts is CM Peggy Shepherd. Thank you Council Member Shepherd for your concern and support of the citizens you represent. Unfortunately, you are out numbered by every other council member who has voted against your desire to protect citizens by installing a four way traffic signal with four crosswalks instead. This would have been consistent with our cities general plan, yet our city mismanaged funds delegated for this cause years ago and very little of the original $204,700 contribution remains.

    The way I see it, after volunteering years of work and advocating for citizens regarding this issue, it will take newly elected leadership at the city level before needed improvements are made. In the meantime I can only hope no one is hurt.

  3. Lesley Sheppard says

    The entire report can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Snoqualmie1st, the Snoqualmie Politics Page or on the Ironwood Facebook Page. I am happy to email you a copy of you would like one.

Speak Your Mind

*

%d bloggers like this: